I Smell History! Review of the Lalique Noir Premier Fragrance Collection
By Alison Blackman
The name Lalique is synonymous with gorgeous art objects, but they also have many beautiful fragrances.
For example, Lalique’s Noir Premier fragrance collection.
These aren’t just luxury fragrances in bottles, they’re an homage to the milestones in the history of Lalique’s creator, René Lalique and his successors, Marc and Marie-Claude Lalique.
The History Begins With The Bottle:
The Noir Premier Collection highlights the milestones Lalique’s history with nearly-identical bottles. Only the names and dates (and one bottle coated in gold)., are different.
A black perfume bottle designed by René Lalique in 1911, the “Quatre Aigles” (“Four Eagles”) bottle, decorated with four female figures sculpted on the edges, forms the Roman numeral “I” when you see it from the front.
The sculpted “wings on the sides of the bottle” were from the “Cyclamen” bottle designed in 1909 for François Coty. and the cap is engraved with Lalique’s “Swallows” emblem.
What follows is a brief personal impression and information on the notes of each fragrance:
Or Intemporel 1888 ($320) is a spicy oriental fragrance in which the two deliciously addictive main notes, tobacco, and coffee, are used to evoke the opulence of gold.
The backstory begins on August 1, 1888. This is the day René Lalique registered his hallmark created of his initials and a stylized sword.
This special bottle commemorates that event by covering the Noir Premier bottle sheds in gold with a semi-translucent finish with a black screen-printed label adorning the front of the bottle.
Have you ever smelled something that literally made you swoon?
That’s nearly the reaction I had to sniffing this elegant fragrance.
It’s an almost “creamy,” sensual oriental, Like the scent of truffles, it’s an aphrodisiac!
Fleur Universelle 1900 ($300) which contains rum and cinnamon notes, the aroma of warm send from the immortal is intensified by the coolness of pink pepper and freshness of cardamom.
Noir Premier or Premier Fleur Universelle is a fragrance based on the immortal Everlasting Flower, a flower whose blossoms never wilt. The chypre scent is an homage to the 20th century at the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1900 during which René Lalique reached the peak of his fame as a jeweler: He won a Grand Prize, was decorated with the Légion d’Honneur and enthusiastic crowds rushed to admire his displays.
When you think of these notes, you think spice! Top notes of pink pepper, rum and cardamom, a heart of everlasting flower, flower, myrrh and cinnamon and a base of patchouli, tonka bean, and lorenox. What really remains on your skin is the cinnamon, known to be an aphrodisiac that makes the heart race. Truly, Fleur Universelle might do the same for that special. someone you’ve been longing to attract.
Terres Aromatiques 1905 ($300) features the most iconic plant to come from the Midi: thyme, enhanced with lavadin.
In 1905 Rene Lalique met François Coty and the result was beautifully designed perfume bottles for a modern perfume industry. This fragrance is an homage to Lalique and Coty with its inspiration from a Coty Chypre, composed by the Corsican-born perfumer with Mediterranean ingredients.
This is a most unusual and sophisticated fragrance. It begins with top notes including cardamom, lemon and pineapple, a heart of lavandin, thyme and freesia and base notes of vetyver, tonka bean and orcanox.
I don’t really smell the thyme or the lavandin (lavender) but upon drydown there is a bright spicy feel to this fragrance which might compliment certain body chemistry better than others.
That said, I couldn’t stop sniffing my hand,…it’s an addictive fragrance and I don’t want a cure!
Rose Royale 1935 ($300) enhances the fruity facets of rose absolute by supplementing them with peach and osmanthus plus nectar, powdery violet and suede and cashmere wood.
1935 is the year René Lalique left the place Vendôme to open his new boutique at number 11 of the rue Royale in Paris. In homage to the “Queen of Cities” there is a rose fragrance for the “Queen of flowers.”
This is not an ordinary rose. It’s an almost fresh, light and fruity but it dries down to a more masculine scent with leathery notes.
Rose Royale is the definition of a gender-bending rose!
Top notes include peach and apricot, middle notes of osmanthus flower and rose absolute and a drydown of fosmanthus absolute, cashmere wood and musks.
Fruits Du Mouvement 1977 ($300) is a fruity and floral fragrance in which the gourmand prune note slowly gives way to the opulence of jasmine absolute and to pleasant woody nuances.
This fragrance is an homage to Marie-Claude Lalique, an artist/sculptor who took Lalique in 1977 and renewed the designs. For her first crystal creation of a dove, she bought a live animal to study it and recreate its movements.
This is the only one I didn’t get to sample. judging from notes, it’s a significant fruity floral with a sensual base of jasmine and woods .
The top notes include black pepper, ginger, and mandarin, the fruity notes are in the heart, as well as jasmine absolute and prune and there’s a base of cashmeran, amber and sandalwood.
Élégance Animale 1989 ($300) is a potent and sensual woody oriental fragrance combining leathery, fruity and floral notes in perfect harmony. $300
René Lalique’s representations of animals were very detailed. They inspired his son, Marc Lalique’s and even later, inspired his granddaughter Marie-Claude. who designed one of LallLalique’sost famous pieces in 1989, the Zeila panther.
According to the Greek historian Theophrastus, it’s the only animal that naturally gave off a scent so sauve it it attracted its prey.
The first sniff of Elegance Animale hit my nose with a growl -it’s extremely potent with strong floral and leather notes and a “smoky” vibe.
At first, the fragrance does seem similar to the scent of big cats. To understand it you have to wear it. Blended with skin, it’s a human huntress!
scent of big cats. To understand it you have to wear it. Blended with skin, it’s a human huntress!
There are top notes of saffron, geranium, and peach blending with a heart of rose, jasmine and a base of leather and sandalwood. The floral and leathery notes are smoky — it’s a head-turning lure, for sure.
The six core fragrances of the Lalique Premier Noir collection are available exclusively at Neiman Marcus and http://www.neimanmarcus.com
At Harrods in the UK, there’s (1) more:
Sculpteur d’Épices (Sculptor of Spices -$180 bp) 1945 is a Lalique fragrance exclusive to Harrods, I didn’t sample it, but should you want to acquire it, here’s a bit about it: “The fragrance emphasizes cool, pure notes to echo the radiance of the Crystal Palace where René Lalique perfected his skills, as well as Marc Lalique’s masterpieces.”
The top notes are bergamot, with an intensely faceted pepper, bolstered by cool-hot cinnamon, Pepper adds vibrancy to the heart notes, enriched with rose and jasmine absolutes. In the base notes there is d’Épices smolders in the amber glow of a labdanum, tonka bean, and a patchouli accord.
To showcase this fragrance, the Harrods Edition Noir Premier bottle is transparent. The fragrance’s name and associated date of 1945 are written in gold on a shiny black rectangle adorning the bottle’s facing.
Sculpteur d’Épices is presented in a precious black lacquer coffret, lined with sensuous imitation suede. *this is not for export so you’ll have to visit Harrods!
The Bottom Line: Each one of these scents is sensational. Even if you don’t know anything about the history of Lalique, the experience of treating all your senses to this beautiful collection is a joy.
There is so much more to say about each of these 7 fragrances, but the best way to experience them is to wear them.
If you can’t semll them in person, select the one that speaks to you, based on the notes and comments.
No matter which you choose, wearing one of these Lalique Premier Noir fragrances you will make your own history!
*group bottle photos in the middle of the article by (c) Alison Blackman